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Guide to the mammal species of Southern Africa

Bushbuck - Tragelaphus scriptus
Travel Writer: EcoTravel Africa  

Bushbuck are medium-sized antelope, which are solitary and nocturnal, and therefore rarely seen. Occasionally they do form small groups of two or three individuals. Adult males are dark brown in colour, with a crest of yellowish-white hair extending from the shoulders to the base of the tail, a white patch on the throat and a band of white towards the base of the neck.

Photographer: EcoTravel Africa 

Bushbuck are closely associated with water, and inhabit dense riverine bush or forest. They are browsers, and are selective feeders, but are able to modify their feeding habits, and will eat grass on rare occasions. Although they are not large, the fighting ability of a bushbuck should not be underestimated.

Normally nervous and shy, a cornered male Bushbuck will turn into a brave and fearsome aggressor, charging its pursuer with its sharp, sturdy horns and a savage will.

Leopards, wild dogs and humans have been killed by the repeated thrusting of the slightly spiralled horns, which are up to 52 cm long. They have also been known to fight to the death in rivalry for females.

Bushbuck are not only excellent jumpers, but prodigious swimmers: in times of flood they have been known to take to the water and swim for up to three kilometres without apparently tiring.

They have a very characteristic hoarse, baboonlike bark. As long as there is a reliable supply of water nearby, bushbuck will live in the same area for years, wandering further from home only in the wet season. A single lamb is born in spring or summer.

More facts about Bushbuck

Best places to see the Bushbuck in Southern Africa:

Kruger National Park (South Africa)
Pilanesberg National Park (South Africa)
Tsitsikama National Park
Addo Elephant National Park
Tembe Elephant Park
Wilderness National Park

Large Mammals of Southern Africa
Small Mammals of Southern Africa
Mammals of Southern Africa    >> Printable List <<
Wildlife - Fauna & Flora of Southern Africa

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Learn more about the Bushbuck - Tragelaphus scriptus with Wildlife Campus. Course content includes in-depth information about Bushbuck habitat, spoor, droppings, ecology...

Wildlife Campus offers many courses including: Field Guide Courses (FGASA); Game Ranging; Wildlife Management; Photography; Astronomy...

Southern Africa has many top Game / Nature Reserves, and is home to many of the mammals of southern Africa. Numerous wildlife safari and tour companies operate guided tours to Southern Africa. Popular adventure travel activities in Southern Africa include: horse riding safaris, elephant back safaris, mountain biking, birding, wilderness walking trails, science safaris and volunteering especially for GAP year students.
Southern Africa Wildlife - Fauna & Flora
Amphibians Ecology
Birds Trees
Fishes Shrubs
Mammals Grasses
Reptiles : Snakes Herbaceous Plants
Invertebrates Fungi : Mushrooms
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